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Ford Focus WRC 02, Rally Oltrepò Pavese 2007 (part 2)

Finally, more progress
As I already mentioned on the what's new page, becoming a father has disrupted my modelling activities somewhat. But nevertheless, progress has been made.
First thing I did, when I had cleaned the body, was fill the vents in front of the front wheels and blend them in with the body by using some standard Tamiya putty.
I also made a new front lip, because the original kit one wasn't correct for the car Gigi drove in this particular rally.
I made the new lip (using the body as a template) out of a .5 mm Evergreen styrene sheet. It has to be said that the lip in the picture below is still a bit large. I sanded it down in the meantime to better match the original. Also shown in the picture is the original lip from the kit.

To bridge the gap between the new hood and the body I've decided to glue tiny strips of styrene to the sides of the hood and sand these to size, filling the gap.
In the dry-fit with the xenon light pods and the glasses can be seen (the second set of images below) that there is still some work to do. But I'm content with the result so far.

Next part I've worked on was the roof scoop. The Focus '02 model has a larger roof scoop that the kit supplied Focus '01 version.
I closed the holes for the original roof scoop with some putty and als smoothed out the roof of the car, so the new roof scoop can be mounted flush to the roof.

To add a little more depth to the roof scoop I dremelled (is that a word?) out the intake and outlet openings with a small burr.
As can be seen above, not all went well and a bit of repairing was required with some Tamiya standard putty (which worked perfectly).

The rear wing of the car is a separate part in the kit, but if left unattended, it will create an additional panelline which wasn't present on the real car (see first picture below).
Since taking this picture I have used putty to hide this wrong panelline.
Another thing that bugged me was the fact that you could look through the car (from above) because of the open wheel arches. So I decided to close them.
First I glued a piece of styrene onto the existing wheel wells on the chassis. Next step will be to use some Milliput to finish the wheel arches.

More on this will be in the next update.

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Getting there
The drama with the tires finally seems to have come to an end.
My suspicion that the aggressive solvent-based clearcoat triggered some sort of reaction with either the water-based clearcoat and or the material of the tires appears to be true.
My options were rather limited, so I decided to spray a new water-based clearcoat over the tires, hoping to cover the previous layer of clear and stop the reaction.
For 3 of the 4 tires one layer of clear was enough.
The rear tire with the most problems received 2 layers and that seems to do the trick. Even after more than a week of drying the clear stays flat.

The clearcoat I used was my own Revell Aqua Color mix as used previously. But this time thinned with it's dedicated thinner and applied by airbrush.
Although the image above does little to hide the imperfections I'm happy I finally am able to finish this chapter so I can divert my attention again towards the rest of the kit.

Work has finally continued on the body.